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OP/ED: Beware the dangers of VD (Valentine's Day)

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s gotten me thinking about love, and sex, and all sorts of gushy sweetheart stuff that you see in romantic comedies. You know, like, midnight phone calls, flowers, and how new couples just can’t keep their hands off each other … anyway, as I was reminiscing over all of my past V-days (even the sad, lonely, single ones – and there were a lot of those) I can’t help but scoff at how some of my relationship ideals have changed. Has anyone else noticed what a couple kids and a half a dozen wedding anniversaries do to your definition of ‘sexy’ or ‘romantic’?!

What is it about kids (besides their life-sucking force) that can take your sex life from top priority to … a chore?!  It could be the fact that you are tired of being pawed at all day long and the idea of one more person touching you makes you want to scream, or it could be between the toddler having nightmares and the baby still nursing that you are just plain exhausted, or it could that between all the viruses they bring home that you are just constantly sick (making out with a stuffy nose is SO NOT hot – there are times when gasping for air is appropriate, that’s just not one of them).

I cured your baby fever, didn’t I? Mine too.

And why is it that what we once found so cute and endearing about our partner, 5 years later seems so annoying?! And the qualities that we once over-looked or even took for granted, all of a sudden become all the more appealing?!

Okay, I know I’m coming off really negative here which is not my intention, the point I’m trying to make is – things change. And not necessarily for the worse either, although I’m sure all you childless, still-dating individuals would beg to differ. I’m just talking about the natural evolution of relationships. Years pass, we get used to each other, we fall into a predictable routine, throw a couple of kids into the mix and there you have it – priorities are different.

I mean, for me, 10 years ago it was rock hard abs, steamy sext messages, and all night marathons that got me swooning. I liked a man with a confident swagger, someone with a ‘leader of the pack’ mentality. Big muscles, good hair, nice bum – those were the things that caught my eye. Now … well, it’s different, the steamy sext messages have turned into shopping lists and ‘honey-do’ notes, the confident swagger has been traded in for pacing the halls with a fussy baby, and as for the ‘leader of the pack’ mentality - well if it’s a pack of three year olds, great! If not, I could care less.

You know, its little things like my partner letting me bathe uninterrupted, remembering to pick up my favorite coffee creamer without a reminder, or doing the laundry that really revs my engine. And if he goes so far as to make a healthy dinner for me and the kids while I relax – look out, this mama is feeling frisky!

Admit it, there is nothing sweeter than watching a father play a board game  with his kids, or listening to him soothe them late at night when they are up with a bad cough. There is nothing more manly than a guy who lets his daughter paint his nails, or who plants kisses onto tiny little baby toes. And, there is nothing sexier than a man who says “Honey, let me change this diaper, you look tired.” or who prepares a veggie stir-fry for dinner without needing step-by-step instructions.

THAT is sexy!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still down with big muscles, a nice bum, and getting random sext messages … and I’m certainly not going to kick my husband out of the house for doing sit-ups every night to achieve rock-hard abs. And I don’t think he’d complain if I shaved my legs a little more regularly (like I used to) or wore the jeans he likes on me rather than stained, ratty yoga pants. We just appreciate each other a little differently than we used to, that’s all. And, I’m okay with that.

I do think it’s important, however, to try to keep the flame alive, so this Valentine’s Day I’m going to put a little more effort in. I’m going to squeeze into those tight little jeans he likes no matter how uncomfortable I feel, I’m going to put on some red lipstick and remind him why he fell for me in the first place, I’m going to wipe every ounce of motherhood off of my flesh and rock his world! I might even wear my push-up bra! But as for the all-night marathon – forget it! I’ll be good to go until about 8:30, after that, this mama needs her sleep.